Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, November 29, 5 days before the Washington Redskins play the Arizona Cardinals.
—Today's schedule: Off day
—Days until: Redskins @ Eagles 12; Panthers @ Redskins 20; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 25
Injuries of note:
Not practicing: TE Jordan Reed (shoulder), G Brandon Scherff (ankle)
Practicing: LS Nick Sundberg
There was no injury report issued after the abbreviated practice on Monday. The statuses above are based on media observations from the early part of practice. An official practice report will be issued on Wednesday.
Redskins observations as they enter the stretch run
—It will be an interesting week for running back Rob Kelley. In his first three starts he running back averaged 107 yards per game and 4.8 yards per attempt. He his first dud against the Cowboys, rushing for 37 yards on 14 carries, an average of 2.64. One bad game isn’t going to get him sent to the bench and the issues against Dallas certainly are not all his fault. But another 30-yard effort with an average of under 3 yards per carry will get the staff looking at the bench at Mack Brown and Matt Jones. Time is running short and he needs to display some consistency.
—Long snapper Nick Sundberg was back at practice on Monday, at least the early part of it. If he is ready to play that could open a roster spot if they feel good enough about Sundberg to let go of Rick Lovato, who has handled the duties the last two games. Jordan Hill, the defensive end the cut to make room for Lovato, is still available. Scot McCloughan is intrigued by Hill, who he sees as a good pass-rushing prospect, and we’ll see if his interest is sufficient to bring him back. (Update: Hill is now with the Jaguars so he is not available to the Redskins no matter how much McCloughan may like him.)
—What are the big-picture keys to the Redskins winning the three or four games they will need to get into the playoffs? Tress Way, who is 31st in net punting average, needs to create long fields for the other team and flip field position a couple of times per game. They need to add 3-4 points to their current average of 25.5 per game by either improving in the red zone or scoring more often from outside of the 20 (and that included scoring on some special teams or defensive returns). They need more takeaways; they have had just seven in their last eight games including three with no takeaways.
—If the Redskins offense can get up near 30 points per game over their remaining five they will have earned it. Of the five remaining opponents, four are ranked in the top half of the NFL in defensive DVOA. The Eagles (1st), Cardinals (3rd), and Giants (8th) are in the top fourth of the league.
—I think most Redskins fans will be surprised to learn that the team is eighth defensive sack percentage. In raw numbers, the team has 28 sacks. The opposing quarterback goes down 7.1 percent of the time he drops back. Ten different players have at least half a sack and Ryan Kerrigan (9 sacks) and Trent Murphy (7) are in the top 20 in the league in individual sacks.
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In case you missed it
- Norman laments 'trolls and clowns'
- No surgery coming for Jordan Reed, but pain is severe
- Jordan Reed misses Monday's practice
- Redskins Playbook: Jordan Reed's shoulder the biggest concern
- Questions mounting for Redskins kicker
- Cousins racking up numbers, but Sonny's were better
- NFC race tight but Redskins still in control
- One liners on every Redskin, defensive edition
- Norman says Bryant didn't say 'unload the clip' line
- Redskins have 2nd highest viewership in NFL this season